April blog - Training at Adventure Travel 30/03/2021
We invest in our staff from day one at Adventure Travel, delivering an extremely high standard of driver training, from banksman to low bridge avoidance. We continue the professional development training throughout a driver’s career, with emphasis on continued vigilance and anti-fatigue measures. Safety is our first and foremost priority.
As such, we have a dedicated and professional training instructor within our organisation;
‘Hello, I’m Jason, I’m the Delegated Examiner and Driving Instructor for Adventure Travel, my role within the company is to train both new recruits and existing staff.
I have been doing this job for five and a half years, I still love what I do. I complete full beginner inductions along with teaching all the theory preparation before individuals sit their tests on hazard perception, multiple-choice and CPC.
The best part of my job is giving all the necessary information and guidance to the drivers. This helps them improve their knowledge and understanding of what is expected of them when they are behind the wheel of one of our vehicles, what precautions they must take and ensure they do not break the law. Internal training has improved greatly, staff have more resources and knowledge from each course they take, we ensure all our driving staff complete the required training hours and schedule refresher courses annually to maintain the high standard of driving. We are improving so quickly within this department, we could soon be in the top 5 training schools in Wales.
There are many challenges within the training school, such as adapting my training style differently to teach inexperienced new members of staff to refresher courses for our more experienced drivers. The laws and legislations are constantly evolving and changing; therefore, I must overcome this challenge to keep the training up-to-date, so staff can continue to be professional and competent in their roles.
For the foreseeable future, especially come 2022, it will be a year of great positives and expansion for the company. We aim to increase the training school by running extra courses such as First Aid and Manual handling, we intend to implement driver mentors so the drivers will have someone to support and guide them daily. There are other exciting projects undergoing development, which we cannot wait to share with our staff and our customers.
There are many reasons why customers should consider using us as their main transport provider in Wales, for both our bus services and coach hire; we are a friendly and approachable team, we interact with our passengers and always professional. We ensure their journey is safe, with the knowledge that every driver goes through every course and test required, to be able to do their job exceptionally well."
What the training school has to offer our drivers;
Jason thoroughly checks everyone’s licenses upon arrival, making sure they hold the right category to drive PCV. Whilst giving the new recruits important information about the company and staff communications, pay, holidays, equality and diversity, health & safety, and yard safety.
As part of the induction, there are a few key training modules to complete.
Bus condition reports (defect cards), this is a vital part of a driver’s day to day job before they take the bus out of any one of our depots. Jason will complete a full walkthrough of how to fill these out correctly, a full understanding of what the internal procedure would be should there be a fault with the vehicle, reminding all drivers of the penalties for not adhering to policies and procedures, plus the possibilities of prosecution should the vehicle with a defect be driven out of the depot and onto any public highway.
Company reversing policy, this is extremely important as it identifies the dangers that are involved with driving and reversing a large vehicle whilst on the highway or in the yard. The policy looks at reversing on the highway and explains the dangers to the driver, passengers, pedestrians, and other road users. We then look at the yard and the procedure put in place to prevent any near misses; the assistance needed within the yard making sure safety is paramount at all times.
This enables all drivers to be trained with the hand signals used to reverse a vehicle backwards, Jason talks about the dangers and hazards that the banksman requires to look out for, there must be a clear understanding between driver and banksman before the manoeuvre happens, with the responsibility being on the banksmen to oversee the reversing.
Low Bridge / Object strike
This course covers the dangers of hitting a low bridge or object strike whilst driving a PCV.
Jason discusses the devastating dangers to passengers and the injuries that could occur, (if not death) should a driver be unaware of their vehicle height and hit a low bridge. Jason explains the massive costs involved in these incidents, the impact it has on road and rail closures, the families of those injured or deceased, including what happens to the driver and company having to attend a court hearing or be charged with a driving offence (causing death by dangerous driving or driving without due care and attention). Jason will also highlight other dangers on the road such as tree branches, scaffolding, bunting, Christmas lights and cambers in the road that are objects you would not normally have to consider in a car or small vehicle.
All drivers carry out Certificate of Professional Competence training every year and cover a wide range of topics such as driver’s hours, dealing with emergencies, drug and alcohol awareness, customer care, health and safety etc., each course is 8 hours long and each driver must complete one CPC course per year. There is a legal obligation for drivers to understand and use what they learn on these courses in their jobs daily.
The Driver Certificate of Professional Competence (CPC) is a qualification for professional bus and coach drivers. It is important for improving road safety and maintaining high standards of driving. Jason will carry out examinations on CPC for trainees to gain their CPC license, dealing closely with Driver Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA), making sure the new trainees are maintaining the government standards.